The existence of organizations centers on the will of several individuals who share a unified goal. Some to earn money, and some to help the community. With that, there are two types of organizations—business and nonprofit. While business owners depend on their operations to gain revenue, nonprofit organizations mostly rely on donations and fundraisers. With the uncertainty of the amount of cash flowing in, nonprofits should plan out their organizational budget and prepare a nonprofit budget. This way, they will have enough funds to keep their organization running.
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What Is a Nonprofit Budget?
A nonprofit budget is a financial document prepared by the organization’s leaders, which details their plans and the money they will spend on each. Moreover, a sample nonprofit budget will serve as a guide for organizations as they take steps forward to reach their plans. This document is a necessity for the said entity because it helps them evaluate their financial health. An annual operating budget example and a nonprofit financial plan example is also essential for these associations so that they can remain on track of their income and expenses.
How Do You Write a Budget for a Nonprofit Organization?
It is crucial to have an accurate budget document to ensure that your expenses will not go beyond your income. Therefore, if you are going to create a startup budget for your organization, it would be best to have a nonprofit operating budget template in Excel or a basic nonprofit budget template for a hassle-free budgeting process. But if you need help in writing one from scratch, follow these steps.
1. Determine Your Budget
The first thing you will do is to insert a table that resembles an organization budget template. It should have at least four columns: description of the expenses, the actual amount, the budget, and the variance. Before you fill this out, though, you have to list down all of your sources of income. You may refer to your monthly historical financial statements for a more comprehensive and accurate list. It is crucial to determine your sources of finance and their respective amounts so you can set the budget for your available for your organization.
2. Calculate Expenses
Now, you have to encode on the table the projected expenses your organization will incur. It includes taxes, wages for the staff, building maintenance, office supplies, repairs, funds, and others. Make sure to put the amount you need to pay next to each item.
3. List Down Debts
Sometimes, we fail to take into account the debts in listing down our expenses. Note that the amount you will pay for money borrowed will increase if not paid immediately. Thus, see to it that you include your organization’s debts (if there are any) on the document. Doing so prevents you from overlooking these expenses so you can set aside money for it.
4. Get the Variance
As you start incurring expenses, list the actual amount paid on the document. Then, see if the estimated amount is equal to or close to the actual amount. To determine the variance, you just have to deduct the projected amount from the actual expense. If the expenditures exceed the budget, then it is time to make necessary adjustments.
What does it mean to be nonprofit?
Nonprofits are usually organizations with a charitable cause. They seek the greater good of humanity with the funds they generated from their activities and operations. Unlike a for-profit organization where they distribute their revenue to their stakeholders, nonprofits use theirs for scientific, religious, or educational objectives.
How do nonprofits work?
Both for-profit and nonprofit organizations generate money. And the financial resources earned in nonprofits will be used to fund their philanthropic missions. These causes may include youth development, literacy, protecting Mother Earth, and charity.
Can I pay my nonprofit staff?
Yes, you can pay your staff. The state law and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows nonprofit organizations to provide their staff with a reasonable salary.
Established around the 1900s, one of the most notable nonprofit organizations in the world is the YMCA. Their leaders, Charles Sumner Ward and Frank Pierce, developed a fundraising system that remains relevant until today. Nevertheless, a successful nonprofit organization doesn’t just happen overnight. Its founders have to make plans and write budgets to ensure a smooth-sailing operation. If creating a budget seems like a challenging task for you, you may download a nonprofit budget proposal template and nonprofit budget template in Google Sheets. With a professionally written template at your disposal, budgeting will be quick and easy.
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